Posts Tagged ‘Harmonic buys Omneon’

Harmonic Announces New Executive Appointments, Integrates Key Omneon Managers

Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Nov 11 2010

When Harmonic purchased Omneon, they bought more than a video server product line.  They also acquired talent, and at the time the company said they intended to integrate Omneon’s management into Harmonic.  Today Harmonic revealed its first move in this integration process, with the announcement that it has named two former Omneon executives to key management roles serving the combined company

Omneons marketing chief Geoff Stedman, has been named Harmonic’s vp for Omneon and corporate marketing. In this role he is responsible for leading the combined company’s marketing communications.  David Price, who previously ran the company’s marketing communication function, will remain with Harmonic as vp of business development.

Ron Howe, who led the Omneon customer service organization, will take on a similar but expanded role for the combined company, leading the customer service organization for all Harmonic products. As Vice President for Service and Support, he will be responsible for driving the company’s overall customer service strategy, establishing consistent service level performance and delivering world-class customer satisfaction.

The company also said that it has appointed Mark Carrington to the role of VP sales for Harmonic.  He was previously VP service and support for the company

“As part of the process of bringing Harmonic and Omneon together, we are fortunate to be able to draw upon the expertise of the combined management teams to fill critical executive leadership positions and build on the strengths of the respective organizations,” said Patrick Harshman, President and CEO of Harmonic.

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You can read the full Harmonic announcement here.

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Devoncroft Digest — June 27, 2010

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor Brand Research, Devoncroft Digest | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jun 27 2010

Here’s a recap of some of the items that caught my eye over the past week or so.

Broadcast Technology Vendor News

Another M&A Deal — RGB Buys Ripcode

In a multi-platform, multi-format world, video transcoding is one of the technologies that everyone needs.  But transcoding is a tough business with fierce competition, and it’s considered by many to be a commodity product.  This makes it tough for pure-play transcoding vendors (which is why most of them will tell you that they focus on workflow optimization).  All of the above makes it an interesting market to watch, so I took note when I read that Ripcode has been purchased by RGB networks. I always thought Ripcode was a pretty interesting company.  They raised a lot of money for their platform and they had a different approach to others in the market.  It will be interesting to see how they perform as part of RGB. 

To read more about this, check out Dan Rayburn’a Business of Video Blog, which has complete coverage of the deal here.

 

Evertz Delivers Good Results for Q4 and Full Year

Evertz Technologies delivered pretty good results for their Q4 and full year, topping the expectations of equity analysts. 

Here are some highlights from the company’s earnings press release here.

Revenue for Q4 was C$75.3m, down 3% versus the same period a year ago, but up 14% over the previous quarter.

In terms of geographic split, sales in Q4 from the US and Canada decreased by 28% versus the same period last year, but this was partially offset by a 41% y/y increase in international revenue (which Evertz defines as markets outside of the US and Canada).  International revenue rose by 23% versus the previous quarter, while sales in the US and Canada decreased by 28%.

Revenue for the full year was C$286.5, a 9% y/y decline. 

Annual revenue from the US and Canada declined 26% versus last year, while international revenue was up by 24% over last year.

The company’s gross margins slipped a bit to 58% (versus 61% last year).  On the earnings conference call, the company attributed this to pricing pressures and the cost of international expansion.

Overall, this was a strong performance from Evertz.  The company’s international growth is particularly notable. 

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Wegener Issues Preliminary Results

Wegener, which was delisted from the NASDAQ earlier this year, issued preliminary operating results for the third quarter ended May 28, 2010. Final results for the third quarter of fiscal 2010 will be released on July 12, 2010.

According to the company’s press release  preliminary operating results for the third quarter of fiscal 2010 were revenues of $2.1 million and a net loss of approximately $(487,000) or $(0.04) per share compared to revenues of $2.9 million and a net loss of $(883,000) or $(0.07) per share for the same period in fiscal 2009.

Company President & CEO Troy Woodbury said that “bookings performance in the third quarter was an improvement over the first and second quarters of fiscal 2010, but there is significant room for improvement.”

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French Employees Protest Grass Valley Sale

TVB reports that nearly 200 Grass Valley employees at the company’s facility in Rennes France went on strike to protest the shutdown of production. Grass Valley, which has been for sale for what seems like forever, is one the broadcast industry’s most storied names. 

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Dolby Opens R&D Center in China

Dolby Labs announced that it’s first “from the ground up” R&D facility outside of the US will be based in China.  In the company’s press release, Dolby VP Mahesh Sundaram said “China is strategically important to Dolby. The establishment of Dolby China’s R&E Center is an important milestone as part of our continued commitment to China and innovation.”  The facility will focus on sound technology.

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Technicolor Opens New Lab in Palo Alto

Meanwhile, French technology provider Technicolor (formerly known as Thomson) has announced that it is planning a new lab in Palto Alto, CA.  The company says the new lab will focus on the personalization of digitally delivered content, and enhance the company’s research skills in content discovery.   The company also says it chose Palo Alto for its proximity to excellent universities and for the potential for interaction within the Silicon Valley technology ecosystem.

 

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Broadcast Technology Vendor Confidence Beginning to Return

According to an article in TVB Europe, the IABM (the association which represents broadcast and media technology suppliers worldwide) has published the results of a new study about industry confidence.  The result — the worst of the recession appears to be over in the broadcast and media technology sector and vendors are feeling increasingly optimistic about the future.

The IABM says that 74% of vendors who participated in their poll are response anticipating better business next year than last, and that 47% of those surveyed are already reporting better order volumes than expected.  However the study also found that the industry is facing strong pricing pressure.

Disclosure: Devoncroft and the IABM partner on market intelligence.

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Other Items of Interest:

TVB reports that the new PricewaterhouseCoopers 2010-14 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook predicts that advertising revenues remain fragile in nature and spending is unlikely to return to former levels, and that by 2014, the U.S. advertising spend is expected to still be 9 percent below its level in 2007.

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NetApp Files 10K with SEC 

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Following April Announcement, John Malone Formally Steps Down as DirecTV Chairman 

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According to Dan Rayburn, here’s the “best article by far” about Google TV: “Google TV: everything you ever wanted to know” – Best article by far on the subject by Engadget. 

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The Wall Street Journal reported that News Corp Want to Buy Rest of BSkyB, but that Sky is holding out for more money.

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Harmonic was upgraded by Merrill Lynch, who say that the Omneon acquisition could be significantly accretive in 2011 

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Cablevision bought Bresnan Communications for $1.4Bn

 

 

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Market Research Note of the Week:

Innovation Rankings of Broadcast Technology Vendors – The Top 30 Globally

In keeping with the theme of top 30 rankings, let’s now turn to one of the most important metrics for any technology company – innovation.

The product side of the film & broadcast industry is driven by technology and innovation.  All vendors strive to create techniques that will make their products stand out from the competition.  Thus innovation is a very important component of the brand image and reputation of vendors in this space.

To find out which broadcast technology vendors are considered to be most highly regarded in terms of innovation, more than 4,000 broadcast industry professionals were  asked to rank broadcast technology vendor brands for “Innovation” on a scale of 1-10 — with 10 being best in the market, and 1 being worst in the market. 

There’s a broad mix of vendors included in these ranking, including both audio and video and audio companies.  There are also interesting similarities and differences in terms of the types of products produced, geographic location and company size.  So let’s look a little deeper into these results….

To see the full results, included three ranking tables and analysis, please follow this link.

You can find other 2010 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) here:

The Top 30 Broadcast Technology Vendor Brands by Overall Opinion, Ranked, Globally and Regionally

The Top 30 Broadcast Vendor Brands by Net Change in Brand Image.

Devoncroft Digest – Week Ending May 14th 2010. Earnings Season Continues

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials | Posted by Joe Zaller
May 16 2010

Earnings season continues with good numbers from broadcasters, and mixed results from vendors.

Broadcaster Earnings Continue to Rise

Broadcasting & Cable reported that Gray Television reported first quarter revenues of $70.5 million, up 15% from the revenue it announced in the first quarter of last year. Gray said the number exceeded its initial expectations.

B&C also reported that Scripps saw its revenues rise 11% y/y. The company is also forecasting strong results for its second quarter.

US Satellite broadcaster Dish Networks was in the news several times last week.  It posted its Q1 results at the beginning of the week, which showed revenues rise by 5 percent, but net income fall by 26 percent.  The company also said it was prepared to shut down its DVR service if it loses its protracted patent battle with DVR pioneer Tivo. But then on Friday a US federal appeals court said the case between Dish and Tivo. This sent Tivo shares down by more than 40%.

 

 

Broadcast Technology Vendor News

EVS Reports 5th Consecutive Growth Quarter, Disappoints Analysts

Broadcast server and storage vendor EVS reported its Q1FY10 numbers this week.  According to the company’s press release to company reported its 5th quarter in a row of growth.  However both the revenue and profit were below the expectations of analysts, and the company’s stock price fell by 10% to a 10 month low following the announcement.  A Reuter’s article quotes analyst Nico Melsens of KBC as saying “the order book was okay, first quarter sales were okay, but the gross margin was below consensus forecast.”                        

Harmonic Holds Analyst Day, Discusses Omneon Deal

Following the release of its earnings last week, Harmonic held meeting for analyst day during which the company’s CEO and CFO presented an overview of the company’s business to equity analysts. One of the topics of interest was the company’s recent acquisition of broadcast server and storage vendor Omneon.   You can listen to a reply of the analyst presentation here.  Information on the Omneon deal is presented at the 21.5 minute mark, as well as in the Q&A. 

Sony Expects to Return to Profit

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Sony says expects to return to profit this fiscal year after two straight years in the red, as painful restructuring measures give way to an improved outlook for its troubled television and video game units. Sony said its restructuring is finally paying and that it expects its television business, which has lost money six years in a row, to return to profitability, boosted by 3-D TVs which it hopes will drive new interest and slow the price declines that eat into profits.

Vizrt CEO Passes Away

TVB Europe reported the sad news that Vizrt CEO, Bjarne Berg, has passed away suddenly at the age of 59.   

New CMO at Chyron

Broadcast graphics vendor Chyron announced that it has hired a new VP and CMO.   Bonnie Barclay comes from The Branding Iron, LLC – an Atlanta-based television and branding company.  She has also worked at Scripps, Cox, and Belo.

 

 

Market Research Note of the Week:

Purchasing Preferences of Broadcast Technology Buyers – “Best-of-Breed” or “One-Stop-Shop?

How do buyers of broadcast technology products prefer to purchase: using a best-of-breed approach (evaluating products from multiple vendors) or a one-stop shop where one vendor provides a complete solution?

To find out, we canvassed the opinions of several thousand broadcast professionals around the world as part of the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey.

There are a huge number of vendors in the broadcast technology space, and the industry’s vendor community is fragmented. Major international trade exhibitions such as NAB and IBC often have between 1000 and 1500 exhibitors at their shows.

On the one hand are the many vendors who are relatively small and specialize in one or two product types. There are also a small number of large international vendors who produce dozens of product types. There are obvious advantages that come with the scale that large companies have achieved, but small companies often argue that their more nimble, focused approach results in superior products.

This has led to an ongoing debate within the broadcast industry about whether it’s better to buy so-called best-of-breed solutions from a variety of suppliers or go to one large company and buy everything from a single vendor.

There are pros and cons to each approach. Dealing with a number of companies may indeed enable buyers to assemble a best-of-breed system, but this approach may introduce interoperability issues and potential finger pointing between vendors if things go wrong. Dealing with a large one-stop shop gives buyers the peace of mind that interoperability issues have been solved, that there is one phone number to call if things go wrong and that there will be no finger pointing.

To see the results of this research, including a chart with a breakdown of different types of buyers, click here.

Devoncroft Digest – Week Ending May 7th 2010 — Broadcasters Earnings Improving, Will it Lead to Increased Capex? Vendors Report Mixed Earnings. Harmonic Buys Omneon.

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials | Posted by Joe Zaller
May 09 2010

There was a lot of action last week.  Earnings season continued with several broadcasters, broadcast service providers and broadcast technology vendors reporting their numbers. 

There was also a big broadcast M&A deal announced, with Harmonic scooping up Omneon for $274m in cash and stock.

Earnings of Broadcasters and Broadcast Service Providers

A number of broadcasters and broadcast service providers reported their quarterly earnings this week.  For the most part, the news was positive with revenue and profits improving thanks to an improvement in the advertising environment.

News Corp posted strong numbers for its Q3, with revenue growth of 19% versus the previous year.  However revenues from satellite broadcasting declined.

Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that their Q1 revenue increased 12.7% versus the prior year period.  Sinclair reported that political advertising had increased sharply, and that 8 of its top 10 advertising categories were up in the quarter – with automotive up 35.6%, and services up 10.1%.  Sinclair gave a positive outlook for their Q2 and also said that they expect their capex to be $19m in 2010, including $8m in the current quarter.

TVB reported that Belo’s revenue increased 15.6% in the first quarter. Like Sinclair, Belo’s results  including a big jump in political revenue.

Liberty Media announced positive Q1 results, lifted by a strong performance at QVC.

Revenue at Cablevision grew 5.2%, but income more than doubled.  According to the Motley Fool website, the company’s “telecommunications services – which includes basic video, interactive optimum video, high-speed data, and voice, along with commercial data and voice service and the programming segment — chalked up a 20.6% growth in operating income. Keeping in step with its cable brethren, the company also posted a 35.1% jump in cable advertising.”

Ascent Media did not fare as well in their first quarter.  The company posted a loss of $11.1m as its revenues declined by 9% versus the previous year. Nevertheless the company’s earnings press release was relatively optimistic, noting that as advertising markets improve the company has been involved in the creation of “more than 800 television commercials and a substantial number of this year’s episodic television pilots…[and] are currently working on a solid pipeline of 3D features. Ascent CEO William Fitzgerald  said the company is “beginning to see stabilization in the global advertising and media markets.”

  

  

Broadcast Technology Vendor Financial Results

Several reported earning this week, including Miranda, DG FastChannel, Chyron, QuStream and Harmonic. 

Broadcast technology vendor results were mixed, with DG FastChannel, Harmonic and Chyron posting increases in revenue, while Miranda and QuStream fared less well.

 

DG FastChannel reported record Q1 results which the company’s CEO Scott Ginsburg attributed “Stellar growth in both traditional and online advertising, the continued adoption of the high definition (HD) advertising format, and the advent of a hotly contested year in politics.” The company’s revenue increased by 31% versus the same period last year, and EBIT increase by 71% y/y.  Investors liked the news and sent the company’s shares more than 12% higher following the announcement.

  

Harmonic announced strong Q1 results that saw revenues climb by 25% versus the previous year,  The company achieved a net income of $5.3m versus $18.8m loss last year.  The company also announced that it has agreed to acquire 100% of Omneon (see below).

Broadcast graphics provider Chyron said its revenue increased by 10% versus the same period last year, and that its service revenue accounted for 33% of total.  Nevertheless the company posted a net loss of $.7m during the period.  In Chyron’s earnings press release, company CEO Michael Wellesley-Wesley said he expects revenue and earnings to climb in 2010.  

Broadcast infrastructure provider Miranda Technologies reported first quarter results that were below the expectations of equity analysts.  The company’s revenues were down 13% versus the same quarter last year, and 19% versus the previous quarter. Revenue from the US market was down 50% y/y, while revenue from Canada and international markets both rose sharply.  In the company’s press release, Miranda CEO Strath Goodship said: “We continue to believe that broadcast markets have stabilized, however the timing and strength of a rebound remains uncertain. Sales momentum in International markets continues to build and we are seeing signs of a broad based recovery. Sales activity in North American markets, particularly the USA remains constrained, although we are hopeful the heightened product interest seen at NAB will translate into stronger revenues in these markets going forward. The new products introduced at NAB, along with a number of sporting and political events in 2010 should help drive revenues and position us for growth.”

Routing switcher and pro-AV vendor QuStream (Pesa) posted a net loss $1m.  Sales for the quarter were $1.7m, a decline of 29% versus the same period a year ago.

  

 

Harmonic Buys Omneon

In addition to announcing pretty good numbers for Q1, Harmonic also announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of broadcast server and storage vendor Omneon.

Much of the Harmonic conference call was dedicated to the acquisition, and Omneon CEO Suresh Vasudevan presented the company to analysts (many of whom were clearly unfamiliar with Omneon and its business).  Here is a link to the replay of the Harmonic earnings conference call, which provides details of the Omneon acquisition   You can also read a transcript of the call here.

I spoke to Omneon SVP Geoff Stedman minutes after the announcement was made public.  He told me that the deal grew out of partnership talks that Omneon and Harmonic had started more than a year ago.  Stedman also said that the Omneon name will continue for the foreseeable future, with Omneon CEO Vasudevan becoming the president of the Omneon division of Harmonic.  Much of Omneon’s key leadership team will also remain in place, and continue to report to Vasudevan, who will report to Harmonic CEO Patrick Harshman.  In my view, this is a good move.  Omneon has a strong, execution-oriented executive team who understands their market well – and there is a very, very big difference between the cable / satellite market (where Harmonic plays) and the broadcast market where Omneon plays.

According to the press release, Harmonic agreed to pay $274m for Omneon.  Investors did not immediately warm to the deal… the AP reported that, Harmonic’s shares plummeted 19% following the announcement of the deal.

 

 

Other

Finally, broadcast business management specialist VCI Solutions has appointed Robert Furlong as its new president & CEO.  Furlong is an industry veteran and former VCI customer.  He has been a TV station GM with both Freedom and Meredith

 

 

Market Research Note of the Week:

How are broadcast technology products typically purchased – Direct from vendor, SI or dealer?

As part of the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey I asked several thousand technology buyers (including broadcasters, playout centers, cable/satellite/IPTV operators, education, film studios etc) in 120+ countries how they typically buy broadcast technology products – direct from a vendor; through a systems integrator; through a dealer; or some other way.

It turns out that there is considerable variation in the way broadcast technology products are purchased, with each category of buyer exhibiting different purchasing preferences. 

These results help readers to better understand the channel structure in the broadcast market.  They are interesting because they highlight that there are some times when it makes more sense for vendors to use a channel than go direct.  They also show that there are some types of buyers who are more used to buying through the channel versus direct.

To see the results, including a chart that breaks responses down by company type, please click here.

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